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lusts. These, together with the Redeemer's intercessions and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, ever sustain their foreseen and appointed connection with the perseverance of the saints.

So the real tendency of this doctrine upon a mind rightly disposed is to prompt it to an undivided effort to realize the certainty foretold. As to the wicked and the self-deceived, they may abuse it to their injury and undoing, as they do even the long-suffering of God.

4. This doctrine claims that all true Christians have been given to Christ; that they were chosen to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth; that they compose a redeemed fold, gathered from all nations, and kindreds, and tongues, freely following the Great Shepherd; and that none of them shall be finally lost.

But did not Christ say to the Father, some one may reply, “ Those whom thou hast given me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition,” implying that he had lost one who had been given him?

This passage is easily explained by a reference to similar ones, and to a prevalent principle of language : "Many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias," says Christ, “but to none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, to a woman that was a widow," That is, he was not sent to a widow in Israel, but to a widow in Sidon. And, "There were many lepers in Israel in the time of Eliseus, the prophet, but none of them were cleansed, save Naaman, the Syrian.” That is, no Israelite was cleansed; but Naaman, the Syrian, was cleansed. So precisely in this passage : “None that thou gavest me is lost; but the son of perdition" is lost. The avaricious apostle, "a devil,” the betrayer, chosen for wise reasons to be a witness to his works and his innocence, never a Christian-he is lost. He fell from the apostleship, that he "might go to his own place."

It is one of the principles of this doctrine, that the Church is sifted, at least in part, of her hypocrites, and unregenerated members, by the temptations, and trials, and heresies with which they are assailed. Not having root in themselves, as the Saviour teaches in the parable of the sower, they endure but for a while; the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and tribulation or persecution arising, they fall. And “there must be also," the apostle says, heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest.”

This doctrine teaches that the true Christian will be kept from fatal heresy as well as fatal crime ; and, according to it, the belief of doctrine which subvert the gospel, as decisively reveals an enemy of the cross, as does the practice of iniquity a man unwashed from his sing.

5. The true doctrine of the perseverance of the saints has

a place in it for promises, warnings, and to exhortations to comtinuance in well doing. This should be ever held in remembrance by the religious teacher. It includes and demands the ministry and the ordinances of the Church. The Christian is to be trained up from a spiritual babe to a spiritual man. Every moment he carries with him ability to step aside and seal his ruin! Nay, if left to himself, he will certainly do it. In these instrumentalities and agencies, which are of God, is lodged a measure of the power by which he keeps his saints; and he sets them forth as ordained to the end. They tend to the Christian's preservation. The minister of Christ, having all confidence, in the piety of his church, may address them, after the example of Paul, as "holy brethrenand “partakers of the heavenly calling;"' and then point them to the Hebrews who rebelled in the wilderness, and fell short of the promised land ; and solemnly warn them against sin, and exhort them to watchfulness, lest they fall in the way and come short of the promised rest. No doctrine of the perseverance of the saints inconsistent with this is of God.

Finally, I remark—This doctrine makes perseverance in an increasing holiness an essential attribute of the Christian character. He, therefore, in whom it is not found, whatever may have been his past experience or his present standing, can have no certain ground of belief that he is a member of the family of Christ. The backslider can have no such ground until he returns to his God, and sees himself living in a new and increasing obedience.

On the other hand, my brethren, of this doctrine this is the consolation : just so far as any one of you has the assurance that perseverance in an increasing holiness is an attribute of your character, just so far you may have the assurance of your own final salvation God has joined the two together. Weak as you are in yourselves, conscious as you may be of your own hearts instability, the subject of earth's and hell's machination, yet in God is your strength.. He knoweth how to deliver you. Though trembling and fearful you may make your way over the storm-field of earth, you shall not be tempted above what you are able to bear. You have already passed the line between death and life: here you are safe ; hereafter you shall triumph.

lusts. These, together with the Redeemer's intercessions and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, ever sustain their foreseen and appointed connection with the perseverance of the saints.

So the real tendency of this doctrine upon a mind rightly disposed is to prompt it to an undivided effort to realize the certainty foretold. As to the wicked and the self-deceived, they may abuse it to their injury and undoing, as they do even the long-suffering of God.

4. This doctrine claims that all true Christians have been given to Christ; that they were chosen to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth; that they compose a redeemed fold, gathered from all nations, and kindreds, and tongues, freely following the Great Shepherd; and that none of them shall be finally lost.

But did not Christ say to the Father, some one may reply, “ Those whom thou hast given me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition,” implying that he had lost one who had been given him?

This passage is easily explained by a reference to similar ones, and to a prevalent principle of language : “Many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias," says Christ, “but to none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, to a woman that was a widow," That is, he was not sent to a widow in Israel, but to a widow in Sidon. And, “There were many lepers in Israel in the time of Eliseus, the prophet, but none of them were cleansed, save Naaman, the Syrian.” That is, no Israelite was cleansed; but Naaman, the Syrian, was cleansed. So precisely in this passage : “None that thou gavest me is lost; but the son of perdition" is lost. The avaricious apostle, "a devil," the betrayer, chosen for wise reasons to be a witness to his works and his innocence, never a Christian-he is lost. He fell from the apostleship, that he “ might go to his own place.”

It is one of the principles of this doctrine, that the Church is sifted, at least in part, of her hypocrites, and unregenerated members, by the temptations, and trials, and heresies with which they are assailed. Not having root in themselves, as the Saviour teaches in the parable of the sower, they endure but for a while; the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and tribulation or persecution arising, they fall. And “there must be also," the apostle says, heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest."

This doctrine teaches that the true Christian will be kept from fatal heresy as well as fatal crime; and, according to it, the belief of doctrine which subvert the gospel, as decisively reveals an enemy of the cross, as does the practice of iniquity a man unwashed from his sing.

5. The true doctrine of the perseverance of the saints has

a place in it for promises, warnings, and to exhortations to comtinuance in well doing. This should be ever held in remembrance by the religious teacher. It includes and demands the ministry and the ordinances of the Church. The Christian is to be trained up from a spiritual babe to a spiritual man. Every moment he carries with him ability to step aside and seal his ruin ! Nay, if left to himself, he will certainly do it. In these instrumentalities and agencies, which are of God, is lodged a measure of the power by which he keeps his saints; and he sets them forth as ordained to the end. They tend to the Christian's preservation. The minister of Christ, having all confidence in the piety of his church, may address them, after the example of Paul, asholy brethren” and “partakers of the heavenly calling;and then point them to the Hebrews who rebelled in the wilderness, and fell short of the promised land ; and solemnly warn them against sin, and exhort them to watchfulness, lest they fall in the way and come short of the promised rest. No doctrine of the perseverance of the saints inconsistent with this is of God.

Finally, I remark—This doctrine makes perseverance in an increasing holiness an essential attribute of the Christian character. He, therefore, in whom it is not found, whatever may have been his past experience or his present standing, can have no certain ground of belief that he is a member of the family of Christ. The backslider can have no such ground until he returns to his God, and sees himself living in a new and increasing obedience.

On the other hand, my brethren, of this doctrine this is the consolation : just so far as any one of you has the assurance that perseverance in an increasing holiness is an attribute of your character, just so far you may have the assurance of your own final salvation God has joined the two together. Weak as you are in yourselves, conscious as you may be of your own hearts instability, the subject of earth's and hell's machination, yet in God is your strength.. He knoweth how to deliver you. Though trembling and fearful you may make your way over the storm-field of earth, you shall not be tempted above what you are able to bear. You have already passed the line between death and life: here you are safe ; hereafter you shall triumph.

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BY REV. WM. T. HAMILTON, D.D., MOBILE, ALA

THE DYING THIEF ;

OR, MARKS OF AN ACCEPTED FAITH.

“Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom."-LUKE. XXIII 42.

How unexpected the sound, how impressive the utterance of these words, in the strange and exciting circumstances of the scene, as described by the Evangelists !

For two or three years Jerusalem had been filled with varying and contradictory rumours concerning the movements and the pretensions of one of obscure birth and mean condition; a person originally from Galilee, and who was known to have been long wandering up and down the country, having no fixed place of abode, but propagating every where his extravagant doctrines, and consorting, for the most part, with the dregs of the people. He had occasionally been seen in the capital city itself, and usually his footsteps had been followed by tumultuous crowds, whose vociferous acclamations had more than once proclaimed him a prophet, and hailed him even as the Son of David. Nay, some had been heard to assert, with great confidence, that this Galilean prophet had actually performed sundry miraculous cures on the sick, the impotent, the blind; and certain indistinct whisperings had penetrated even the highest circles in Jerusalem, about his having raised from the grave and restored to his afflicted relatives, somewhere about the suburbs of the holy city itself, & young man of respectable connections, who was known to have died, and to have lain buried for some time. But the populace are always credulous and superstitious both, and it is well known that rumour loses nothing by circulation.

Certain it was, however, that whatever the opinions of the vulgar might be the learned and the prominent men of the nation gave no credit to the pretensions of this would-be prophet.

On some charge connected with the claims involved in his assumed character, he had been arrested by order of the chief priests; he had been arrainged before the Sanhedrim, the great council of the nation ; by them he had been handed over to the Roman governor, Pilate ; after an open trial, he had been condemned to death ; and at this very hour he was in the hands of the officers of justice, assigned to execution in company, as it was generally understood, with two other notorious criminals: nay, even now the execution was in progress. Pass, then, at once to the busy, scene : it is but a short distance

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